Shannon Presley Alexander
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Do you remember a time when you were so close to making the sports team, trying out for the band, getting that A, being accepted into ‘The Group’, or just doing something outside of your comfort zone yet somehow you managed to talk yourself out of it? Perhaps you second-guessed yourself, convinced yourself that you just didn’t want it bad enough, weren’t prepared enough, or didn’t deserve it? Well congratulations, you’ve managed to psyche yourself out! You listened to that negative chatter in your head that succeeds in eating away at your self-confidence.

You are not alone. People often create self-sabotaging thoughts and until you make an active effort to overcome them, you will continue to succumb to them.

So now that you recognize you’re not the only one that faces this, what are you going to do about it?

Starting today you can begin utilizing these 4 things to defeat that negative chatter while regaining control, building confidence and being open to experiencing new opportunities.

    1. Take action! Jump in before you talk yourself out of doing the activity or making that decision. Obviously, I’m not suggesting being impulsive. However, you need to keep in mind that procrastinating only drains your motivation and incites the negative talk.
    2. Visualization Techniques – Imagine accomplishing the activity successfully; the more vivid and intense the visualization, the better. If you think positive and see yourself being successful your chances of succeeding increase.
    3. Set Realistic Expectations – Know your strengths and developmental areas; accept yourself despite your limitations. We all have shortcomings so embrace your strengths. Know what makes you unique, your gifts and talents and use these to concentrate on opportunities of accomplishment. Don’t expect perfection, be overly critical, judgmental or exceedingly focused on your failures. Embrace this as a learning opportunity. Take something positive from every unsuccessful experience and file it away for future use. Remember to cut yourself some slack. Do the best you can and celebrate the small victories as you advance.
    4. Create a Mantra – Visual reminders such as sticky notes, mirror markering, scheduled daily reminders on your phone or computer can boost your confidence exponentially. By filling your mind with positive images and positive self –affirmations you will learn to be more compassionate towards yourself and those around you. I’m not suggesting that everything in life will always be flawless but with a positive attitude the negative experiences will be much easier to overcome.

Finally, recognize that building confidence takes time. If you continue to use these techniques regularly, they will become second nature, elevating your confidence level. Most importantly, be true to yourself. Be who you are for there is only one of you in this world!